Tuesday, 8 January 2008

An invitation to the Ducal Society

The Secretary of the Ducal Society looks up from his reading -The September 23, 1757 issue of The New Hampshire Gazette in which he had just read the following-
"[Last] Tuesday in the afternoon John Childs, who had given public notice of his intention to fly from the steeple of Dr. Cutler's Church, performed it to the satisfaction of a great number of spectators; and Wednesday in the afternoon he again performed it twice; the last time he set off with two pistols loaded, one of which discharged in his descent, the other missing fire, he cocked and snapped again before he reached the place prepared to receive him. It is supposed from the steeple to the place where the rope was fixed was about 700 feet upon a slope, and that he was about 16 & 18 seconds performing it each time. As these performances led many people from their business, he is forbid flying any more in the town. The said Childs says he has flown from the highest steeples in England, and off the Monument, by the Duke of Cumberland's Desire."
On putting the paper down he was struck by the thought that the aforementioned gentleman show be invited to address the learned society this year.His whereabouts having been ascertained a letter was duly dispatched forthwith.